Primaries ended, but voting for Curbside Cookoff begins today. Also today: free desserts, new oyster at Hanks Oyster Bar, Greenbaum to open a Mexican restaurant, but not in time for Mexican Independence Day
Chef Jamie Leeds plans to develop a special oyster that will be exclusive to Hanks Oyster Bar’s two locations. The owner of the seafood-based restaurants is working with oyster farmer Bruce Wood and assistant Kenny Hobar of Dragon Creek Aqua Farm. The oyster is being raised in Nomini Creek of Westmoreland County, Va. The waters in that area are low in salinity, which allows the oysters to develop a sweet flavor. Wood expects the new oysters to be available to the public by 2011. In addition, Leeds’ restaurants will recycle used oyster shells to help replenish the local oyster population. Hanks Oyster Bar is located in Dupont Circle and Alexandria.
Ozzie’s Corner Italian is set to open this Friday in Fairfax Corner, reports WBJ’s Missy Frederick. Ozzie’s is Great American Restaurants’ first Italian eatery. The menu will feature casual Italian items such as house made pasta and foccocia, panini, and veal milanese. The restaurant, located at 11880 Grand Commons Ave., is named after the company’s partner and VP of kitchen operations, Chris Osborn.
Clarendon residents may be seeing Hawaiian shirts soon enough. Trader Joe’s new location in the nearly completed Clarendon Center is close to being finalized, reports ARLNow. The only thing that’s keeping the specialty grocery from moving forward is the parking situation at the center. The site’s current plan allows the public full access to the building’s parking garage, whether they shop at Trader Joe’s or not. But the retailer worries there won’t be enough parking spaces for their customers and wants the plan amended to allow reserved parking spots. Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette says the county will examine the available parking spaces and access the grocery store’s needs. He hopes that something can be worked out.
Restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum plans to open a casual Mexican restaurant in Columbia Heights, reports Tim Carman. The owner of contemporary American restaurant Jackie’s in Silver Spring signed a lease for an 800-square-foot location at 3313 11th St. Greenbaum’s new venture will feature regional Mexican foods and L.A. street food-inspired snacks, writes Carman.
Too bad Greenbaum’s Mexican restaurant isn’t open yet, because tomorrow is Mexican Independence Day. If you’re in the spirit and looking for a fun fiesta or two, here are some options:
• Sept. 16, the Mexicans Professionals Network is hosting a Mexican Independence Day after party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Ultra Bar. The event includes a mariachi, authentic Mexican music, and a live broadcast of "El Grito de Independencia".
• Sept. 16, Mio’s Restaurant is hosting a Tequila and Tapas Night.The event features a sample of Aguila Real tequilas and Mexican cuisine prepared by the restaurant.
• On Sept. 23, Food historian Patricia Janice will discuss the dishes and flavors that transformed after the country’s Independence from Spain.
• Sept. 16-17, Rosa Mexicano is offering a 4-course pre-fixe menu with traditional celebratory dishes.
Don’t forget: Today is Open Table’s Free Dessert Day
Food Truck News
Voting for the first annual Curbside Cookoff begins today through Sept. 22. Only the top 20 food vendors will be invited to the festival, so be sure to vote for your favorite ones. And then tonight, Brightest Young Things will be co-hosting a kick-off party and happy hour at Chinatown Coffee.
Where are the food trucks today?
Former Top Chef contestant Temesha Warran prefers coconut water over Gatorade, heels over flats, and a certain quarterback who she thinks “just joined the Redskins or something” over a young pitcher. Check out the rest of Warran’s preferences here. (via Washingtonian)
Could bacteria be the newest food trend? (via Washington Post)
Y&H writer Scott Reitz shares his thoughts on Mandu in Dupont Circle.
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Plan Ahead - This week's food and drink events
• Sept. 15 -- Open Table Free Dessert Day
• Sept. 15 -- Curbside Cook-Off Launch Party
• Sept. 15 -- Art of the Cocktail Class at Againn
• Sept. 15 - Mexican Independence Day Official After Party
• Sept. 16 -- Just Case Happy Hour at Local 16
• Sept. 16 -- Fly into Fall with Luke’s Wings
• Sept. 16 -- Tequila and Tapas Night at Mio’s Restaurant
• Sept. 16 - BBQ Feast Art and Soul
• Sept. 16 -- Happy Hour with Young Government Leaders
• Sept. 16 -- Whats the Deal Free Drinks Happy Hour
• Sept. 17 -- Martinis and Lashes
• Sept. 18 -- 4th Annual Field to Fork
• Sept. 18 -- H Street Festival
• Sept. 19-25 -- The Great American Dine-Out
• September Cooking Classes (via FloridaGirlinDC)
• Open Table’s Free Dessert Day
• Win a $50 Coco Sala Gift Card (through 9/17)
• Ted’s Montana Grill: Save $5 when you spend $15 (through 9/19)
• Free cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory when you make a donation of $5 of more to Feeding America (to end of Sept.)